Global Change Ecology

Blog by students of Global Change Ecology M.Sc about Climate Action and Sustainability
Conferences & more Halting Deforestation - 2018

United Youth in Rome to halt deforestation

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Buongiorno Roma! Two GCE students, Carla Madueño and Alicia Medina from Peru, have been selected to participate in the Youth Workshop and Halting Deforestation Conference at FAO headquarters in Rome from February 19th to 22nd, 2018.

The Capacity Development Workshop held on Monday February 19th, was led by the International Forestry Student Association (IFSA), the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) and the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) and trained 50 international Youth delegates on accelerating efforts to halt deforestation. Furthermore, Youth proposals were collected for later High Level UN Political Agendas.

Halting or not halting deforestation, that is the question

Forests are our best asset to combat climate change and they are key in securing food, water and ecosystem services for mankind survival. Despite of their fundamental role to sustain life on this planet, we keep on losing them at terrifying annual rates.

With the current rate of deforestation, there will be no forests left within the next 100 years.

Given that deforestation is in the eyes of a conservationist an ecological tragedy and in the eyes of the investor a money-making opportunity, we need to reconcile these opposing interests.

Youth ideas feed UN Plan for Forests

In order to contribute to and accelerate global forest goals and SDGs, the workshop in the morning of February 19th led by Wageningen University (Netherlands) collected Youth proposals for the Halting Deforestation Conference (CPF). Discussions went about how to have an integrated management of lands at the landscape level: where different actors of society, different land use types and different instutional frameworks are best combined to ensure forests protection and sustainable management.

Youth Workshop morning session. Photo by Carla Madueño

Desmitifying Gender in Forest Conservation Efforts

After the morning session on the Landscape approach, the noon session led by Taylor Tondelli (FAO) touched with the Youth delegates on the importance of mainstreaming gender in efforts to halt deforestation. To see, what we did exactly, check out the video below.



I found this group dynamic to be extremely mind-opening. Participants had assigned roles. We were all standing in one single line and as Ms. Tondelli would read statements we had to give either a step forward (yes) or backwards (no), depending on whether read power statements matched our roles. Example: one would give a step forward if in the role of a woman community leader one would have “political influence on the community” or a step backwards if “at night one wouldn’t feel secure to walk alone”. At the end of this power dynamic, assigned roles revealed high assymetries in power distribution across different societal actors.

Make our voices heard

Throughout the Capacity Development Workshop Youth delegates worked on global proposals to halt deforestation: ideas ranged from experimental urban jungles, to mainstreaming deforestation through comedy and art and music for collective awareness.

All Youth proposals were collected in the afternoon session by IFSA and GLF Sponsored Youth in Landscapes delegates. Youth Proposals to halt deforestation will contribute to the UN Strategic Plan for Forests 2017 – 2030 and will be presented at the 13th Session of the UN Forum on Forests this May.

Finally, selected Youth delegates prepared online content for the IFSA short course on Halting Deforestation. You can see here, what the results of these hours working on solutions are.

Youth CORE Teams, evening session. Photo Courtesy of IFSA

Quick links

IFSA Short course on deforestation Check out now (!)

Halting Deforestation Conference



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